A Romantic Getaway to Madrid: 4-Day Itinerary For Foodie Couples like Us

Caleb and I are OBSESSED with the Spanish capital! We’ve been nearly 10 times and are planning to move there in the future (really.) While everyone goes to Barcelona, we love that Madrid feels more authentic – you really don’t have to put in any effort to experience the true culture of Spain in this city – it’s everywhere! 

We’ve broken down this Itinerary into 4 days, with what to do for each part of the day, including where to eat (most importantly, obviously) and some romantic spots that we love! There are tons of things to do in Madrid and there is something for every kind of couple! 

YouTube video

Quick Itinerary Overview

This itinerary is created based on our guide for how many days to stay in Madrid and is assuming that you are staying somewhere in the city centre. I’ve also given instructions for using public transport, uber, or your own two feet to get between destinations, which we think is the easiest!

Culture Craving Couple contains affiliate links and is a member of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you make a purchase using one of these Amazon links, we may receive compensation at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting us! You can see our disclosure policy.

Day 1 – Classic Madrid Sites

Morning/Breakfast

It’s day 1 of your amazing 4 days in Madrid (According to Euroweekly news, it is one of the best cities in the world!) and we’re starting with something unique and SOMEWHAT of a hidden gem. You’re going to start the day with COOKIES because vacation and YOLO? Specifically cookies from a monastery baked by cloistered nuns so you cannot talk to or see them. We know – bucket list experience, right?

An aged wooden door displays a poster for 'Venta de Dulces' at the Monasterio del Corpus Christi, advertising traditional Spanish sweets with a schedule, evoking the historic charm of Madrid's convent confectioneries.

You need to go to Monasterio del Corpus Christi and find the door with a sign that says “Venta de Dulces” which is typically open from 9:30 am-1:00 p.m. and again from 4:30 pm-to 6 p.m. Press the button that says “Monjas” (nuns) and you will be buzzed inside.

If they have the cookies, the nuns will open the door and you will follow the signs that say Torno to where you find a cookie menu and order them – either by 1kg or ½ kg sizes. Once you order, they will prepare them, put your cookies in the torno (like a lazy susan), and then you put your money in the torno next to the cookies! Voila – super memorable cookies for breakfast!

A person holds a box of 'Mantecados de Erez' from Monasterio del Corpus Christi, showcasing the convent's traditional Spanish cookies, with the name 'Madres Jerónimas' inscribed, offering a taste of local religious artisanal baking.

If cookies for breakfast aren’t your thing (who are you?), check out The Fix for hand-roasted coffee, pastries, and simple offerings such as toast and eggs. They also have gluten-free options.

Almudena Cathedral

Our first stop is the only Cathedral in Madrid! Construction began in 1879 but ended in 1992, so the vibe is a little more modern than the Palace! Visiting is free and only takes 20-30 minutes or less! It’s one of the best spots for an Instagram photo in Madrid.

PRO TIP:

If you are near the cathedral for sunset, we 100000% recommend checking it out. We’ve seen the most amazing sunsets here, even better than the ones we saw in Mallorca! You MAY see it on your food tour tonight but, if you don’t, it’s only 15 minutes or so from where we end the day tomorrow! It’s super romantic!

A couple stands embracing while looking at the Almudena Cathedral during sunset in Madrid, with the grand architecture and clear skies in the background

Royal Palace (Palacio Real Madrid)

This is the largest royal palace in Europe – even bigger than Buckingham and Versailles! It was built in the 18th century and has been the official residence of the Spanish royal family since 1735 although they live elsewhere now but come back for ceremonies.

Afternoon/Lunch

Mercado San Miguel 

Wander 10 minutes over to one of the oldest markets in Madrid, established in 1916, for a light lunch. This is SUCH a lively spot that feels authentically “Madrid” even though it is highly touristy. You can sample many things here and the quality is excellent, albeit a LITTLE more expensive than other places to eat but still affordable. We recommend any of the Pintxos (small snacks usually on a skewer and we all know food on a stick tastes better)

Make sure you have a LIGHT lunch because you need room for tonight’s food tour. Trust us, we’ve done it.

Malasaña Neighborhood 

Known for its bohemian and hipster vibe, this area is full of colorful streets, unique art galleries, and about a gazillion cool cafes and bars.

Wander the streets and stop at the teensy-tiny Cafe Angelica for a pick-me-up coffee before your food tour. They have all kinds of coffee as well as a huge variety of spices and it smells amazing inside!

Free Email Course: Madrid Made Easy

Discover everything you need to know to plan an EPIC Madrid Getaway in our free email course!

Evening/Dinner

We always do food tours in new places! We did the Devour Tours Tapas, Taverns, and History tour and it is a do not miss. In fact, we loved this tour SO much that we’ve done it twice and both times had different stops!

Our guide the first, Isobel, gave us some great history of the city and we ate SO MUCH GOOD FOOD. I didn’t include of the places we visited in this itinerary so it doesn’t spoil it!

A close-up of grilled mushrooms topped with herbs and tomato on a white plate with toothpicks, served as tapas on a wooden bar counter, embodying a traditional Spanish appetizer.

Where to stay:

Our travel style is sort of “mid-budget,” and we stayed at this Airbnb and loved it! It’s centrally located, decently spacious, and has this awesome enclosed balcony overlooking a busy street!

Click here to see the current prices and availability!

>> If that doesn’t float your boat, click here to see other options in Madrid including price, reviews and photos! <<

Day 2 – Rastro, Lavapies, Barrio De Las Letras, Plaza Mayor, Puerta Del Sol, Flamenco Show & La Latina

Morning/Breakfast

You’re going to begin your day a little out of the way but we HAD to include Caleb and I’s most favorite brunch spot: Ojala.

This is a super cute, artsy spot known for its colorful breakfast plates and fresh smoothies. We LOVE their pan con tomate (tomato toast) with Iberico ham and then we add a side of scrambled eggs. They are the CREAMIEST we’ve ever had!

A cozy, eclectic café interior with hanging potted plants and unique lanterns, where patrons engage in conversation by a window with a view to the street, surrounded by vintage-style furniture and artistic wall illustrations

PRO TIP:

They have an outside patio which is adorable but they always seat tourists under the tree and Caleb has been bird-pooped on. So, try to sit away from it!

Rastro

How to get there: if you want to walk from Ojala, it’s a 30-minute walk. You could also take a 25-minute metro (14 of those minutes are walking) or 20 mins by Uber which is going to be way longer due to traffic.

This stop only applies if you are in Madrid on a Sunday or public holiday as that is when this massive, open-air flea market is open from 9 am to 3 pm. It claims to be the best in Europe and it’s a great place to wander.

SCAM ALERT: This is very popular with both locals and tourists making it very busy. Keep an eye out for pickpockets!

Afternoon/Lunch

A vibrant display of Spanish tapas at a market stall, with a server arranging assorted delicacies like pastel de bacalao, boquerones, and anchoas. Prices are visible, offering a glimpse into the local culinary commerce.

Lavapiés

This multicultural district is known for its street art that is concentrated on Calle de Embajadores (the main street) and onto Calle de Lavapies. Get lost (but, like, not actually?) exploring these streets or even take a street art tour if that is your vibe.

For lunch, the Mercado de Antón Martín is within Lavapiés and it’s hard to miss with its bright orange walls. Since this is an international district, you’ll find lots of multicultural food options like pizza, empanadas, ceviche, tacos, and tapas.

PRO TIP:

If you want to be a true madrileño, have a “hora del vermut” before lunch at a tapas bar. This is the hour before lunch that is dedicated to drinking the delicious Spanish alcoholic beverage: vermouth!

Barrio De Las Letras

Walk 5 minutes to Madrid’s literary quarter which has been home to great icons such as Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote. You’ll find old theatres, amazing tapas bars, and the homes of literary icons.

Plaza Mayor

Enter one of the many porticos into the historic and largest public square in Madrid, which was built in the 17th century! It was once the center of Madrid and now is lined with many shops and tons of restaurants!

From there, we suggest you walk 1 minute to Chocolatería San Ginés, one of the old and most famous places for churros con chocolate in the city! Yes, you just had lunch, but dinner is late, and you HAVE to get churros in Madrid! Important: our churros didn’t have cinnamon and sugar so don’t expect that!

Visitors gather in the grand Plaza Mayor of Madrid, featuring the iconic equestrian statue of King Philip III set against the backdrop of the plaza's traditional Spanish architecture with ornate facades and spired towers under a cloudy sky

Besides, we DO NOT recommend you eat in Plaza Espana. There’s a reason we didn’t include any of the restaurants in our best tapas bar lists -they’re JUST for tourists.

Puerta Del Sol

Walk 5 minutes to the city’s central meeting point where you will find the iconic statue of the bear and the strawberry tree (El Oso y El Madroño.) This is one of the busiest areas of the city and is considered the geographical capital of Spain!

You can wander around the area and into the little shops and streets. If you want to participate in the local drinking culture, grab some wine at Angelita Madrid which is a 5-minute walk. It has an incredible selection of wine by the glass and great cocktails.

A woman dancing flamenco on a stage

Evening/Dinner

Flamenco at Cafe Ziryab

Walk 30 minutes, take an 11-minute Uber, or 15 mins by metro to an authentic Tablao Flamenco show. This is a show that is not rehearsed and it is up to the dancers, singers, and guitarists so the show is always different! We loved the show here but, like most flamenco places, the food is meh…so eat dinner after!

La Latina

Walk 20 minutes or take a 10-minute Uber to THE neighborhood for tapas! This is our favorite area with lots of boutiques and tapas bars, especially down the famous Calle de la Cava Baja.

A cozy and vibrant tapas bar called Taberna La Concha interior with eclectic decorations, featuring wall-mounted plates, a variety of hanging glasses, and a large floral arrangement. Patrons are engaged in conversation, adding to the warm and social ambiance of the Spanish eatery.

Here you will find our favorite restaurant in the ENTIRE WORLD: Taberna La Concha. They are known for their creative tapas and their incredible, house-made vermouth (we have some in our bar right now because it’s our favorite souvenir from Spain!!) that you HAVE TO try.

You can read our guide for what to order.

Some other options if it’s busy (try to make a reservation) are Taberna 4 Tapas or Casa Gerardo (try the sobrasada toast with cheese and any of the huge selection of wines!)

You’ll also find Casa Botín here, the oldest continuing restaurant in the world! We have not eaten here but have heard it’s good.

PRO TIP:

You pretty much NEED to make dinner reservations to eat at good spots in Madrid, any night of the week! So, do this in advance!

For the evening of day 2 of your 4 days in Madrid, we have some epic cocktail bars for you:

Day 3 – Day trip

Below you have 4 options – 2 close and 2 further – with some highlights of each, as well as a place to have lunch (we always have food recs for you!) so you can decide where you want to go. Make sure to snag our questions for couples to ask each other during your train ride – it’s always a good way to kill time and know more about each other!

Best Day Trips from Madrid

Toledo

Often referred to as the “City of Three Cultures,” is a historic city on a hill renowned for its rich cultural heritage and architecture. Its picturesque old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its stunning medieval architecture and harmonious blend of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim influences.

Where to Eat: Taberna el Botero (a must-do tasting menu)

How to get there: Take a 30-minute train from Madrid Atocha Train station

Valencia

A vibrant coastal city famed for its beautiful Mediterranean beaches, futuristic architecture like the City of Arts and Sciences, and its delicious cuisine, like paella. A great choice if you want a beach vibe!

Where to Eat: Navarro for what is said to be the best paella.

How to get there: Take a 2-hour train from the Madrid Chamartin Train Station

Segovia

A beautiful city renowned for its stunning Roman aqueduct, as well as its fairy-tale-like Alcázar fortress, said to have inspired Disney’s Cinderella Castle. This historic city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Where to Eat: El Sitio for local Castillian food, such as the famous suckling pig (lechon)

How to get there: Take a 30-minute train from the Madrid Chamartin Train Station

a roman looking bridge with large archways on water

Cordoba (our fav – pictured in video) 

A city steeped in history, best known for its iconic Mezquita-Catedral, a stunning mosque-turned-cathedral with a gorgeous blend of Islamic and Christian architectural elements. Beyond this, Córdoba offers a charming old town with winding streets, beautiful patios, and flowers everywhere! 

Where to Eat: Rincon de Carmen and get the fried eggplant with honey (Berenjenas con Miel) SO GOOD.

How to get there: Take a 2-hour train from Madrid Atocha Train station

Day 4 – Retiro, Golden Triangle of Art, Botanical Gardens, Gran Via

Morning/Breakfast

Start your last day of 4 days in Madrid at Plenti for brunch, a cute spot known for its Mediterranean influence and globally-inspired baked egg dishes.

El Retiro 

Walk 5 minutes to Buen Retiro Park (El Retiro) which is Madrid’s main park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has many. fountains, gazebos, and paths to wander and relax by while the sound of the theme song for “Money Heist” wafts through the air. Don’t ask us why, but someone always seems to be playing it? It also has a lake with a big plaza that you can rent a boat and paddle around. So romantic! 

A couple embraces while watching the sunset behind the Crystal Palace in Madrid's Retiro Park, a moment of romance and tranquility by the reflective waters.

Inside the park, you’ll find the Palacio de Cristal, which was a greenhouse in the 19th century and now sometimes houses different art exhibits. You’ll find a beautiful pond to sit and watch the ducks and turtles outside of it.

Museum Visit

How to get there: now you’ll walk 5-10 minutes, depending on which museum you choose, to what is known as the “golden triangle of art” and contains 3 of Madrid’s biggest Museums:

The Prado Museum known as one of the best museums in the world, it has over 7000 paintings from Spanish masters like Velázquez, and Goya and artists from the world like Rembrandt. If you like art, you could spend hours here.

The neoclassical facade of the Museo del Prado in Madrid, with its towering columns and the Spanish flag waving above, representing one of the most significant cultural landmarks in Spain.

It gets busy, so get tickets online in advance or visit Monday through Saturday between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and on Sundays between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. for free entry!

Reina Sofia Museum The arte reina sofía has modern art like Picasso, Joan Miró and Salvador Dalí. But, it’s most famous for being the home of the ​​Guernica, Pablo Picasso´s famous work depicting the 1937 air bombing of the Basque town 

Purchase tickets online to skip the line or visit on Sunday from 1:30 to closing for free entry.

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum – This museum is home to an art collection of around 1000 paintings from Degas, Renoir, Van Gogh, and Dali. It’s smaller than others so it’s a good option if you want to see some paintings but don’t want to spend hours at a museum, like Caleb and I.

Retiro park in Madrid

Royal Botanical Gardens

If you don’t want to visit a museum, check out the gardens outside the Prado! It has over 5,000 plant species and some gorgeous flowers. We particularly like the enclosed areas with tropical plants!

Afternoon/Lunch

A 13-minute walk from the Prado is our second favorite restaurant in all of Madrid: Taberna El Sur. This is where you get the BEST Sangria ever and some amazing tapas. We recommend the cod scrambled eggs which sounds odd but is amazing.

Cibeles Palace in Madrid, captured in soft evening light that casts a warm glow on the building's elaborate façade and detailed sculptures, with clear skies above and city life moving along its base.

Gran Via

Walk 15 minutes from El Sur or the Prado to Madrid’s grandest and most Iconic street with lots of hotels, shops, and offices. There is gorgeous architecture, so it’s a great place to stroll!  

PRO TIP:

Walk over to the Edificio Metrópolis, which has the winged victory statue that you see in all the photos.

Círculo de Bellas Artes 

Just a bit off the Gran Via you’ll find a building with exhibitions, theatres, and a concert and lecture hall but the main attraction is the rooftop bar. Take the elevator to the 7th floor to get a drink, see the cityscape, and watch the sunset!

A breathtaking sunset over a cityscape, with the sky painted in vibrant shades of pink and orange, silhouetting the urban skyline with warm, luminous hues.

Evening/Dinner

After sunset, walk 15-20 minutes to either Gatogato or El Minibar for dinner. Both are AMAZING, but we would choose Gatogato, as the tapas are always incredible and creative with amazing service, and it’s quiet and romantic. When you try the charred lettuce with pistachio sauce you will weep tears of joy.

After dinner, spend your last night hanging out in a tapas bar in La Latina or Malasaña sipping on vermouth, sangria, or Spanish wine!

A plate of grilled lettuce garnished with green pistachios, served on a patterned plate, representing a refined and delicious tapa.

Our personal Tips To make Your Trip Even Easier

We have a couple of insider tips to add to your travel guide to make it easier for you to get around Madrid:

  • Get the Madrid Card, the Madrid Metro Card, and/or the Madrid City Pass to help skip the lines, book things in advance, and save money. 
  • The easiest way to get to Madrid from the airport is the metro. Enter the metro station at the airport, buy a ticket and if you are facing the train, you go down the stairs to the left, not the right. That platform gets you to downtown.
  • We’ve rented a portable travel wifi pack at the Travel Wifi store just outside of Puerta Del Sol. It’s super reasonable and convenient to pick up and drop off!

That is a wrap on this romantic Madrid itinerary, folks! Madrid is heaven for foodie couples and we know you will LOVE it! If you have any questions, just let us know in the comments below!

Your itinerary really needs to include an awesome food tour! If you want all the details you can read our full Madrid food tour guide – you’ll even get a sneak peek at some of the eats!

More helpful posts on Madrid:

Free Email Course: Madrid Made Easy

Discover everything you need to know to plan an EPIC Madrid Getaway in our free email course!
A couple stands embracing while looking at the Almudena Cathedral during sunset in Madrid, with the grand architecture and clear skies in the background

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *